Wednesday, February 25, 2015

I love a Mystery - Book Review

One of my alltime favorite types of book is a mystery, particularly a fast moving story with lots of clues, misdirection and red herrings.   I am a member of NetGalley so sometimes I get to read a book digitally before it is published.  The books are provided to me free of charge and I in turn give an honest review.

The book I just finished  - almost breathlessly - is Lowcounty Boneyard by Susan M. Boyer.  The protagonist in the book is a female detective named Liz Talbot.  I had previously read Lowcounty Bombshell, so this was an easy choice.

I love Ms. Boyer's style of writing; it immediately draws me into the story. In this tale, Liz is hired to look for a 23 year old heiress who has vanished without a trace.  Kent Heyward's case has been given up on by the police, but her parents are hoping that she can be found.  The police line is that she got tired of her overbearing parents and orchestrated her own disappearance.

During the investigation, Liz discovers many of the "fine old family's" secrets.  But are any of those tied to Kent's disappearance?  Liz has one unusual secret of her own:  she has a ghost who helps protect her from harm - and it is a very good thing.  Someone doesn't want Liz to continue her investigation.  But who and why?

I give this book a full five stars.   The characters were well defined and became quite real to me. The sub-plots were well used to carry the story forward.  And best of all, I wasn't sure until right at the end what had happened and why.

You can pre-purchase this book in either paperback or a Kindle edition on Amazon.  A Nook edition is also available for pre-order at Barnes and Noble.


My blog is http://blog.geneblack.com
Comments are welcomed. I will reply when possible unless otherwise stated. Of course if you are a "No Reply Blogger" - I can not reply.

Tuesday, February 24, 2015

Sewed!

For a while now I have been seeing people make different types of boxy bags.  They look like shave kits to me.  So I found a tutorial and tried to follow it.   Some of you know that I don't follow patterns or tutorials very well. This was no exception.
She has a nice how-to video on YouTube - so I watched it -at least twice!  Then I started making the bag.  Of course I decided to use the serger so my finished seams would be nice.  I ran over that plastic zipper and broke a needle.  #%#@....okay needle replaced and all the bits of the broken needle found and discarded.   (This is where I lost my concentration)  So I went again. WHAM!  Yes the other needle in the serger broke this time. Okay, so now there are two new needles in the serger.  And onward I go.  I slowed down and went over the zipper oh so carefully. Whew, made it.
This is the point where I realize that I sewed the sides before I folded it to make the box.  I now have a big zipper pouch.   ARRRRRGGGH!
I box the corners anyway and make it work.  Well kinda.  I have a tall skinny boxy bag.
I take it and put my stuff in it...I don't like it.

So take two.  I pull up the directions and go one step at a time.   It works.
But I really did like the green zipper better..sigh!   It is a bit small but I am out of the home dec fabric and the fusible fleece so perhaps another day I can make a bigger one. For now this one is functional.
I was also part of a warp exchange on Ravelry.  The warp is the collection of threads that you weave on to create cloth on a loom.  When you weave the quilting explanations of lengthwise and crosswise fabric are sooooo much more clear.
Here is the warp I received on my loom.
Collage showing front and back of the loom. 
I have been weaving on it and just having a lot of fun.  Here is another collage showing the fabric so far - with some close ups.
I love the freedom of Saori weaving.

My blog is http://blog.geneblack.com
Comments are welcomed. I will reply when possible unless otherwise stated. Of course if you are a "No Reply Blogger" - I can not reply.

Monday, February 23, 2015

Fun with Fiber

This past Saturday I went to a Saori Kai - a Kai is a time of sharing. We did some weaving, some sharing of techniques and just had a good time in general.  I made a few new friends, too.

I took my loom and wove on the piece I have had on it for a while now.  Today I see that I am nearing the end of the warp. The warp at the threads that run the length of the fabric.  So far i have over six yards of fabric.  I am not sure if it will reach seven yards but that would be great.
 There is a little drawing on the picture collage showing the cloth that is still wrapped on the cloth beam.
I showed you my coat that I made - but now I have a photo of me modeling it at the Kai.
(although not a great photo - I screen captured it from a video) 

One day last week I did some more yarn dyeing.  You can dye wool with drink mix (like KoolAid) and with food coloring.  Here is my yarn.

I also sewed a new shave kit from my travel bag but at the moment I don't have a photo of it.  I will try to have that tomorrow - there is a story of the mess I made.
I hope you are staying warm if you are in the "deep freeze" area much of the USA is experiencing

My blog is http://blog.geneblack.com
Comments are welcomed. I will reply when possible unless otherwise stated. Of course if you are a "No Reply Blogger" - I can not reply.

Thursday, February 19, 2015

Sew Unusual

On Tuesday,  I decided to use some of my woven fabrics and make something. I had tried on a jacket a friend made from this basic pattern back in January.  The fit and feel were fine.  So I had asked for sizing details since I suspected she had changed it a bit.   I am glad I kept those details.
Now this is certainly not a traditional jacket at all, but I am only traditional in some things.

So after some careful measuring I prepared the woven cloth for cutting.  To do that you mark your cutting line and sew a straight line on each side of it.  Since I am larger than the average Japanese person the pattern was designed for, I had to increase it a bit.  This meant sewing panels of hand woven fabric together.  One of the panels I split down the middle to make the front lapels match.

So what does it look like?  I had to take a picture on a hanger as I had no one to take a photo of me in it.  But I think I look like a "rock star/superhero" in it - just so you know.


If you see those "threads" hanging on the two lower points, 
that is a bit of the fringe where I tied off the fabric warp 
when I was finishing those pieces

There are a number of weaving techniques that I used in these fabrics.  I did not use a consistent color palette but several colors repeat throughout the piece.  This type of clothing has been called wearable art.  I like that idea.
Would you wear something artistic but unconventional?

My blog is http://blog.geneblack.com
Comments are welcomed. I will reply when possible unless otherwise stated. Of course if you are a "No Reply Blogger" - I can not reply.

Wednesday, February 18, 2015

Spinning -and -Four Day ONLY Sale

I have been spinning on my new spinning wheel. I named her Meg.  Here is the current yarn I am spinning. The roving is called "Bermuda" and it is by Ashland Bay.  I love this colorway.




For only four days, Craftsy is offering  a number of free eGuides - or how-to booklets in PDF format.

Photography
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eGuide: Not-So-Basic Buttercream Decorating Ideas
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eGuide: Delicious Doughnut Recipes You Can Make at Home
Paper Crafts
eGuide: 6+ Stash-Busting Paper Craft Projects
Drawing
eGuide: Drawing the Human Face: A Primer
Painting
eGuide: Beginner's Guide to the World of Watercolor
Gardening
eGuide: Success With Container Gardening
Woodworking
eGuide: Woodturning Basics for Beginners

I am a Craftsy affiliate and may receive a small stipend if you register and download one of these eGuides.

My blog is http://blog.geneblack.com
Comments are welcomed. I will reply when possible unless otherwise stated. Of course if you are a "No Reply Blogger" - I can not reply.